After oral argument before The Honorable Michael A. Chagares, The Honorable Kent A. Jordan, and The Honorable Julio M. Fuentes, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by Opinion entered in Encompass Insurance Co. v. Stone Mansion Restaurant Inc., No. 17-1479 (3d Cir. August 22, 2018) upheld the practice of snap removal after finding that (1) the language of 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b)(2) is unambiguous and [i]ts plain meaning precludes removal on the basis of in-state citizenship only when the defendant has been properly joined and served”; and (2) the interpretation permitting snap removal does not defy rationality or render the statute nonsensical or superfluous. Id. at * 8-13.
The Court recognized that the result of the practice may be peculiar to the extent that it allows defendants to use pre-service machinations to remove a case that it otherwise could not when the forum defendant rule applies; however, “the outcome is not so outlandish as to constitute an absurd or bizarre result.” Id. at *13. The Court also recognized that “[r]easonable minds might conclude that the procedural result demonstrates a need for change in the law; however, if such change is required, it is Congress – not the Judiciary – that must act.” Id. at *13.
A copy of the Opinion is attached.